AEW Rampage results (1/26): Murphy’s review of Kip Sabian vs. Komander vs. The Butcher vs. El Hijo del Vikingo for a shot at the AEW International Title, Jon Moxley vs. Lee Moriarty


By Don Murphy, Contributor (@DonThePredictor)

AEW Rampage (Episode 129)
Taped January 24, 2024 in Savannah, Georgia at Enmarket Arena
Aired January 26, 2024 on TNT

The Rampage opening aired and Justin Roberts introduced the opening match as Jon Moxley made his way to the ring. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Matt Menard checked in on commentary. A video recapped Moxley’s victory over Shane Taylor on last Saturday’s Collision. Moxley’s opponent, Lee Moriarty was already in the ring.

1. Jon Moxley vs. Lee Moriarty (w/Shane Taylor). Some basic chain wrestling to start. Moxley backed Moriarty into the corner and delivered a chop. Moriarty rolled to the outside. Schiavone acknowledged former WCW wrestler, Ice Train, who passed away earlier this week. The two engaged in some additional chain wrestling before Moriarty took Moxley over in a side headlock.

Moxley took a shoulder block before rebounding with a back elbow. Moriarty rolled to the outside again. Moxley confronted Taylor on the floor. Back in the ring, Moxley chopped Moriarty several times. Moriarty ducked a clothesline and rolled up Moxley for a near fall. Moriarty locked in the Border City Stretch but Moxley got to the ropes. The two exchanged and forearms, which Moxley got the better of.

Moxley hit a running clothesline in the corner and followed up with ten punches to the head. Moriarty took over with a dropkick from the second rope and punches of his own. Moriarty threw Moxley to the floor as the show went to its first picture-in-picture break. [C]

After the commercial, Moriarty was working on Moxley’s arm and wrist. Moriarty missed a dive and Moxley hit a kick to the midsection. Moriarty turned an attempted DDT into a belly-to-belly suplex, immediately converting to an arm bar. Moriarty hit a vertical suplex while still hanging on to the arm.

Moriarty hit a German suplex for a near fall. Moriarty hit a back elbow in the corner and charged in but Moxley met him with a clothesline. Moxley locked in a bulldog choke and Moriarty converted it into another Border City Stretch. Moxley rolled Moriarty over and hit a series of elbow hammers. Moriarty snapped Moxley’s fingers.

Moriarty dropkicked Moxley into the corner and followed up with running boot. Moriarty got some shots in before hitting another running boot. Moriarty hit the Bang faceplant for a near fall. Moriarty kicked the arm and went for a dive from the top rope but Moxley caught him with a forearm.

Moxley stomped Moriarty’s head repeatedly and hit a piledriver for a near fall. Moxley hit the elbow hammers followed by a kick to the chest for a near fall. Moxley hit several more elbow hammers followed by a choke hold for the win.

Jon Moxley defeated Lee Moriarty in about 13:00.

The wrestlers shook hands after the match. Taylor dropped Moxley with a right hand. Both Moriarty and Taylor put the boots to Moxley before leaving the ring…

Don’s Take: This was a solid match as one would expect given the caliber of the talent. I’m intrigued by Moxley’s 2024 mission statement and I’m hoping that this means the eventual end of the Blackpool Combat Club as a proper faction. As for Moriarty, he’s another wrestler in a rather large list that could be used better, though I’m intrigued by an extended feud with Moxley. Maybe the revived rankings will also help this cause because despite his talent, as showcased in this match, his role as Shane Taylor’s sidekick isn’t clicking.

Renee Paquette interviewed Anna Jay and Angelo Parker. Paquette asked Jay about her upcoming match with Ruby Soho. Parker interjected and said that he and Jay would always be family but given everything going on with Soho, he couldn’t be in Jay’s corner. He then asked Jay if she had anything to do with Harley Cameron kissing him last week. Jay slapped Parker and said that she couldn’t believe he would ask her that after all they’ve been through. She said she was done having everyone else’s back when no one had hers. She said tonight and moving forward, she was finished with groups and would have her own back. [C]

After the commercial, Excalibur announced that the stars of the CMLL promotion would be coming to AEW. More information will be announced on Saturday’s Collision…

2. Christopher Daniels vs. Konosuke Takeshita (w/Don Callis, Powerhouse Hobbs, Kyle Fletcher). Don Callis joined the commentary team. Daniels attacked quickly with a series of kicks and strikes. Takeshita dropped Daniels with a forearm. Takeshita followed up with two forearms and a flying clothesline. Takeshita hit a flying forearm in the corner followed by a senton bomb.

Daniels blocked a superplex and knocked him down with a series of headbutts. Daniels drove Takeshita face first into the mat and followed up with a jumping forearm in the corner. Daniels hit a German suplex and a clothesline. Takeshita blocked Angels Wings, hit a package tombstone piledriver and flung Daniels backward. Takeshita hit a running knee strike for the win.

Konosuke Takeshita defeated Christopher Daniels in 3:00.

After the match, Callis grabbed the mic and said that the Don Callis family takes everything that needs to be taken. He said that Chris Jericho took 33 years from him that he can’t get back. He added that they already started to take from him.  They took his tag team partner from the Golden Jets. Then they took Guevara but Jericho keeps coming back. He said when Will Hobbs broke Jericho in half, he kept coming back. He said now it’s time to end this and on Dynamite in two weeks in Phoenix, Arizona, he challenged Jericho to face Takeshita. He said this time, there will be nothing left and they will take his career, the cars, the money, the houses, the greatness and the legacy.

Fletcher cut Callis and off and said “pardon the interruption.” He said that Takeshita already had his shot against Jericho, as did Will Hobbs. He said if anyone deserved the next shot at Jericho, it’s him. Callis said he liked the moxey and said that Jericho would still face Takeshita in two weeks but would also face Fletcher this Wednesday on Dynamite from New Orleans, Louisiana. He said that they would take whatever is left but there will be nothing left but the tears.

Don’s Take: If you look at talent on a trajectory for a great year, Takeshita has to be on that list. Don Callis is a fine mouthpiece, but I agree with Jonny Fairplay in that many times, Callis is more focused on getting himself over than his talent. Given this, I’d like to see creative find a way to give Takeshita more character development, instead of just having him stand there while Callis talks. For Daniels, he’s firmly settled in his role in putting younger talent over, which he does well. Finally, I like that they’ve laid out a path for this feud over the next two weeks. Both should be good matches and as always, it will be interesting to hear the crowd reaction for Jericho.

Renee Paquette was backstage with Darius Martin, Dante Martin and Action Andretti. Private Party and their bouncer entered. The two teams agreed to a rematch on next week’s Rampage in New Orleans. Paquette said Private Party’s victory last time was questionable. Private Party said the only question was if they won, which they did. Dante said they needed the ropes to won. Andretti said he would be in the corner to prevent it from happening again. He went to do his water bottle spot but Quen knocked the water bottle out of his hand. The two teams stared each other down to end the segment.

3. Anna Jay vs. Ruby Soho (w/Saraya, Harley Cameron). Soho attacked Jay before the bell rang and threw her to the floor. Soho followed up with a punch and a chop on the floor. Soho rammed Jay into the ring steps. Excalibur announced Lee Moriarty and Shane Taylor vs. Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli for Saturday’s Collision. Soho threw Jay back in the ring and the referee rang the bell to start the match.

Jay took over on offense with a series of punches and kicks, following up with a neckbreaker across the second rope. Cameron and Saraya grabbed Jay’s leg and took her down on the apron. The show went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]

After the break, Soho had the advantage but Jay reversed a German suplex attempt and hit a DDT for a near fall. Jay went for the choke out, but Soho backed her up near the ropes and Cameron grabbed the leg. Jay hit Cameron with a forearm on the floor. The referee was distracted allowing Saraya to kick Jay. She held Jay for Cameron but the referee caught them and ejected them.

Back in the ring, Soho took Jay down for a near fall. Soho placed Jay on the top rope, but Jay blocked the attack. Jay hit the Blockbuster and grabbed the chokehold for the tap out win.

Anna Jay defeated Ruby Soho in about 7:00.

Don’s Take: This match was overbooked by design to continue to sell the dynamic between Soho, Saraya and Cameron. I did like Jay’s declaration of independence before the match, so maybe this is the beginning of something for her.

Renee Paquette was backstage with Continental Champion Eddie Kingston. Renee said that since Eddie won the Continental Classic, he won everyone’s respect except Bryan Danielson. Kingston said it was OK if Danielson didn’t respect him because he didn’t respect Danielson. He wished Danielson luck against Nagata on Collision. He announced himself vs. Willie Mack in a non-title match for Collision. He said unlike Danielson, he can face people he respects and doesn’t respect. [C]

4. Kip Sabian vs. Komander vs. The Butcher (w/The Blade) vs. El Hijo del Vikingo (w/Alex Abrahantes) in a “Freshly Squeezed Four-Way” for a shot at the AEW International Title on Saturday’s Collision. Sabian faced off with Komander while the Butcher faced off with Vikingo. Both groups battled on the floor. Sabian attempted to form an alliance with the Butcher but Sabian rolled him up for a near fall.

Sabian and Butcher squared off. Sabian ducked a charging Butcher who flew to the outside. Komander and Vikingo hit stereo dives onto Butcher and Sabian on the floor. Komander and Vikingo squared off hitting a series of moves I’m not even going to try to keep up with. Butcher came in and clotheslined them both. Butcher took down Vikingo and grabbed Komander in a cloverleaf. Vikingo broke the hold. Sabian hit a flying tackle on Vikingo, slipping on the top rope in the process. The show went to its final picture-in-picture break. [C]

After the break, Sabian and Butcher worked over Komander. They did the spot where one would go for the pin and the other would break it up. Butcher hit a pump-handle backbreaker for the near fall, broken up by Vikingo, who took over on offense. Down the stretch, Komander battled Sabian and rolled him up for the win.

Komander defeated Kip Sabian, The Butcher and El Hijo del Vikingo in a “Freshly Squeezed Four-Way” in 13:00 to earn a shot at the AEW International Title on Saturday’s Collision.

Komander celebrated and Cassidy made his way to the ring to shake hands and stare down Komander as the show went off the air.

Don’s Take: A fun main event. Komander and Orange Cassidy should have a good match on Collision even though there’s no expectation that Komander has a chance. Add Komander to the mix of talent that could be used better. If they took the time to develop a character, he could be a fun act.

A decent episode of Rampage. For the second week in a row, the show featured one of its top-tier talents, in addition to a match that served as a hook for Collision, which was a nice touch. Let’s face it, Rampage will never be the “A” show and for all we know, when AEW settles on a TV deal, the show could be overhauled or even discontinued. For now, little hooks and top starts are all we can hope for.

As a reminder, I’ll be back with my Collision review after the show on Saturday night while Jason Powell provides live coverage of the Royal Rumble. Until then!


Readers Comments (2)

  1. The stars of CMLL? Who, from where? More wrestlers on a bloated roster with no character development?

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